U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Appellate Procedure Guide
December 2023

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GENERAL PROVISIONS : Attorney Admission & eFiling Registration

Attorney Admission & eFiling Registration
Admission Required
Only attorneys admitted to the bar of this court may practice before the court. The court does not admit attorneys pro hac vice.
An attorney may be named on a brief filed in this court without being admitted to the bar of the Fourth Circuit, provided that at least one lawyer admitted to practice in this court also appears on the brief. Any other document submitted by an attorney who is not a member of the bar of the Fourth Circuit will be accepted for filing conditioned on his or her qualifying for membership within a reasonable time. Loc. R. 46(b).
Eligibility Requirements
An attorney is eligible for admission “if that attorney is of good moral and professional character and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest court of a state, another United States court of appeals, or a United States district court (including the district courts for Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands).” Fed. R. App. P. 46(a).
Application for Admission
To apply for admission, complete the application for admission, including signing the oath before a public notary and having a bar member sign the motion for admission. The application can be mailed to the clerk with the requisite fee, made payable to the court of appeals clerk. The application can also be submitted online with payment by credit card after the attorney seeking admission to the court has successfully registered for a Fourth Circuit Pacer account.
The fee is waived for attorneys appointed by the court to represent a party in forma pauperis, counsel for the United States and any agency thereof who has a case pending before this court, and law clerks to the judges of the court and to the district judges, magistrate judges, and bankruptcy judges within this circuit. Loc. R. 46(b).
eFiling Registration
Attorneys who wish to file documents with the court must register for a Pacer account. See Register for eFiling. If counsel is already a member of the court's bar, the account will be activated with full filing privileges. If counsel is not a member of the court's bar, their account will be activated to allow for submission of their bar application. Once their bar application is processed, filing privileges will be activated.
Users must have an upgraded PACER account before they can file documents with the Fourth Circuit. The same PACER account may be used at all federal courts that have implemented Next Gen CM/ECF, but each court must separately approve and register counsel's filing privileges. All filers must now have their own PACER account. Law firms and other organizations can set up a PACER Administrative Account (PAA) to manage their user accounts and have central billing for PACER access fees. See Upgrade PACER Account Instructions for additional information. The PACER Service Center notifies the Fourth Circuit that counsel has registered for filing privileges.
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